Christians examine damage to their church outside of Kampala, Uganda. (Compass photo)
Uganda (MNN) ― Armed with machetes and clubs, around 40 Muslim extremists attacked the World Possessor's Church International, just outside the capital city of Kampala, Uganda on Nov. 1, Voice of the Martyrs Canada reported.
Located in Namasuba, the congregation was worshipping at 11 a.m. when the Muslims stormed the church.
"It began with an unusual noise coming from outside, and soon I saw the bricks falling away one by one. Immediately I knew that it was an attack from the Muslims who had earlier sent signals of an imminent attack," said the pastor of the church, Henry Zaake, according to Compass Direct News.
VOMC said after this, the church members gathered at the front doors of the church, hoping to prevent the Muslims from entering.
"When the Muslims noticed one of the Christians taking photographs of them, they beat him severely," reported VOMC. The photographer was later taken to a clinic for treatment.
Some of the church members were able to escape out of the back doors, until nearby residents came and helped them ward off the attack.
When police finally arrived, they stopped the assault but made no arrests.
"It as if the police are not concerned about our security and lives," Zaake said.
Now, much of the congregation is afraid to return to worship services, and the Sunday after the attack attendance dropped from 250 to 100.
"Since the attack we've received a lot of threats from the Muslims," Zaake said. "This is a conspiracy that we can't understand. This trend gives me sleepless nights."
Zaake also said he has received several threatening messages on his phone from anonymous callers; he expects another attack.
Since the church began meeting in March, they have been strongly opposed by the Muslims in the area. Narmasuba's population is predominantly Islamic, with some estimates as high as 80 percent, Compass said.
While the outdoor staircase was the only part of the church sustaining damage, repairs are estimated at $535 USD, or one million Uganda shillings.
Pray for God to sustain these believers through this time with peace, grace and strength. Pray that they will be emboldened to continue worshipping, regardless of threats.
You can also post a prayer for these believers by clicking here and adding to VOMC Persecuted Church Prayer Wall.